Today our neighbor brought in a landscaping crew to cut down all of his dead bushes that have been guarding the parameter of his property, over the years, with their beauty; but most importantly; for their protection. And as I watched him I felt a real sadness in my spirit – as the very reason he had planted these bushes, in the first place – was to block us out. To place a barrier between us – his neighbors. And now all the bushes are gone. However, there is a small remnant of what still seems to be growing – if they are able to discern what is truly part of the bushes that used to be – or are they only weeds now entangled and growing in their place. Sadly, I watched as our neighbor kept walking back and forth with his head down – grieving – over what he had just lost. A profound teaching for me…and for us.
As I have been reading in the Holy Word that after Jesus chose His Twelve Disciples, to walk with Him here on earth; He immediately started grooming them for what lay ahead. Which was not going to be an easy road – but actually a sacrificial calling. As the people thought that Jesus had came to reign as a King within the world – to physically save them by fighting to defeat the enemies who were also their administrators of cruelty – while keeping them in bondage. However, what Jesus taught, and ultimately teaches us – which goes so totally contrary to our natural bent, is for us to love our enemies. And if they are hungry to feed them; and if they don’t have clothing to clothe them. And that when we choose to judge others, when we are asked not to judge – be careful – as while we are taking the speck out of our brothers eye – you may find it hard to see – because of the plank we have in our own eyes. So humbling…
Jesus goes on to remind us that “no good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.” As a good man will bring out the good things that are stored in his heart – while the evil man also brings out the evil things that are stored in his heart. And it says, “So beware! For out of the overflow (the abundance) of the heart the mouth speaks!” As whatever we bring into our lives…what we see, what we say, and what we hear…rests in our hearts and will come out of our mouths and will be reflected in our actions – both good and evil. Huge!!! Then Jesus continues to explain what the difference is between the foolish and wise builders – as its not enough to just hear the Word but we need to be doers…as “the one who hears My words and does not put them into practice is like a man who builds a house on the ground without a ‘foundation,’ and the moment the storms strike the house it collapses and it’s destruction becomes complete!”
So then I heard the Holy Spirit whisper…“Your foundation must broken up and removed!” I immediately pictured a jack hammer being used, with all the noise and with cement thrown all around, with bits and pieces flying everywhere – watching as my foundation become a pile of of useless rubble – with a bulldozer heading my way! He went on and said, “This must be done – so a new foundation can be laid and built upon – able to support a new home, a Temple, that will withstand “all the storms” within you life. As you have been building houses – over and over again – believing that this must be the one that will stand – because of its beauty or because it looks so majestic and sturdy! But sadly, you have chosen to build something new and place it onto your old foundation. The same one that you have been repairing for most of your life – filling in the cracks with so many things that never held it together to make it a safe place. Yes! It has to be completely broken and torn down – and everything has to be cleared away – so that a new foundation can be poured. A foundation made with strong new materials which are able to support you for a lifetime, where a new home can truly be built to become your safe haven…so that when the storms of life come – it will stand firm on it’s new foundation – which is Jesus Christ – our Refuge and our Rock!
He went on…“And what about the weeds that you have allowed to stay and grow in your garden? Weeds that are choking and poisoning the plants that are struggling to grow to give you life! Oh Yes! Some even look quite attractive with beautiful flowering blossoms. But once again, ALL must be pulled up “by the roots,” and thrown away – totally discarded – otherwise, they will return to take root…once again!”
As truly Jesus is our “Master Gardner;” who pours His Living Water into the soil of our hearts – while tendering them with His Light – as He gently nourishes and cares for us – while helping us to grow. Yes! Guiding us with His Love so we can keep our garden fruitful and weed free! As it brings tears to my eyes just knowing how deeply we are loved by Him – like no other – as we can safely build our lives upon Him as He is our Shepherd, who calls us each of us by name, and who is also; our “Master Builder!” And when we find ourselves floundering in the storms within your lives – and they will come – just reach up and hold His hand – and you will hear His gentle voice whispering deep within your heart…“Don’t be afraid, be courageous and stand firm.” as “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go!” It’s a Promise!
From my heart…
Luke 6; Joshua 1; Genesis 28:15; Psalm 91; Isaiah 26:4